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Thai PM Claims Not Lost Land at Cambodia´s Preah Vihear Temple

Written By vibykhmer on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 | 5:37 AM

http://www.dap-news.com
Written by DAP NEWS -- Tuesday, 08 September 2009

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva claimed that Thailand has not lost any territory in the disputed Thai-Cambodian border area near Preah Vihear temple, according to Monday’s Bangkok Post.

There have been Thai fears that Bangkok might emerge at a disadvantage in bilateral talks with Phnom Penh.

”The [Thai] prime minister has asked [Thai] Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya to explain to the public today the details of the negotiations framework which was passed by the parliament last week,” the Bangkok Post added.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Foreign Affair and International Cooperation, on Monday told DAP News Cambodia that the mistake stems from the fact that Thailand uses its own map in the territorial dispute with Cambodia.

“The real solution is to solve by international map, it has not to be used by its own map,” said Koy Kuong, adding that “It is Thai mistake which uses its own map to solve with Cambodia.”

Abhisit was responding to a complaint by People’s Alliance for Dem- ocracy co-leader Sondhi Limthong-kul that Thailand had effectively lost the disputed land area to Cambodia.

Speaking on his ASTV channel, Sondhi said the government’s negligence had allowed Cambodian troops to take control of the land.

Abhisit told his weekly TV and radio program on sunday Thailand and Cambodia used different maps with different border demarcations to argue their case.

However, he said an agreement reached between the two countries in 2000, which said border conflict should be solved through negotiation, should apply in the meantime. ‘’It is just not true that the government has neglected the issue or lost any land or sovereignty,’’ the Thai prime minister said. While the border has yet to be agreed neither side should enter the disputed area or use it in ways which affects the other’s rights, he said.

“The 2000 agreement says we need negotiations and, in the meantime, activities in the disputed area that could affect each country’s rights are not allowed,” the Bangkok Post quoted Abhist´s saying.

The disputed land is a 4.6-square-kilometre border area near Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple.

Cambodian high ranking officials on Friday last week rejected claims from the People’s Alliance for Dem-ocracy (PAD) in Thailand that Thailand lost 4.6 square-kilometers to Cambo- dia. The Cambodian officials stressed that such a stance is not the official line of the Thai Government.

“This claim is not Bangkok’s government’s stance and [they are] willing to solve with the Cambodian Government,” Koy Kuong told DAP News Cambodia.

“This protest is from only Thai nationalism group to claim Cambodia invaded Thailand,” Koy Kuong confirmed. “If the two governments have not solved the problems yet, they cannot claim it is the sovereignty belonging to Thailand.”

The Thais “often claim to be encr- oached upon and envied by Cambodia, but they base [claims] only on their own map, he added.

Va Kimhong, president of the Cambodian Border Committee could not be reached for comment on Friday.

“Thailand should not say that they lost around 4.6 square kilometers of their land in accordance with an international ruling of June 15, 2009,” he has previously told DAP News Cambodia.

“Thailand cannot say as the area and the surroundings of the area do not belong to Cambodia. When they said they lost land, it is not based in reality or evidence.”

Va Kimhong showed disappointment over Thailand’s slow progress in fulfilling vows to demarcate the border.

The People’s Alliance for Democ- racy networks from 16 southern provinces held a public announcement urging the Government to investigate Thailand’s rights to 4.6 square kilometers in the vicinity of the Preah Vihear Temple, in order to prevent the country from losing the disputed land, according to Thai-Asean News Network on Friday.

Although the World Court ruled in 1962 that the 11th century Hindu temple belonged to Cambodia, the most accessible entrance is from northeastern Si Sa Ket province.

Each country uses different ways to demarcate the border line, but Abhisit said this had not compromised Thailand’s position.

Cambodia uses a French colonial map to demarcate the border but Thailand insists its watershed boundaries be used for demarcation based on a map drawn up with US technical assistance.

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